Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Otto Wichterle, my new hero

This guy beat the odds, kicked their ass and invented something hundreds of millions of people use - but you don't know him.

I volunteer at Business Ownership Initiative in Indianapolis, an SBA funded Womens Business Development Center. We help mostly women and minorities start businesses.

When I counsel these startups I try to convey what it takes to be successful starting and running a business. Persistence is at the top of the list. (My favorite quote on the subject is from former president Calvin Coolidge.)

I always enjoy using examples from history of scientists or entrepreneurs who exhibited remarkable persistence to become successful. There are many. Today's news media too often makes success seem like it comes out of a microwave.

I came across this story about Otto Wichterle, the inventor of contact lenses. His picture spoke to me: It was like: "I kicked their asses, and I can kick yours too!" I LOVE THAT IN AN ENTREPRENEUR!

But unlike The Donald, this guy had a brain.

Monday, June 06, 2011

Somewhere, Nicola Tesla is smiling

Anyone who knows me knows I admire Nicola Tesla.  The man was an unrewarded genius.  It is too soon to tell if I will be among that cohort, or break out.

But to make a fraction of his impact on the world would be an achievement.  So mode it be.